Bookworms are peaceful creatures. We’re happy with a good book and are no bother to anyone. Unless, that is, you do one or more of these things:
1. Dog-earing our pages
Firstly, who does this? Secondly, do not do it to my bloody books. If I’ve been kind enough to loan you one of my precious books, you are duty bound to take care of it. Don’t turn over the pages, ruffle the dust jacket or break the spine. Come on. Is it so hard to use a bookmark?
2. Failing to return our books
Return our books or feel our wrath. You can’t borrow your friend’s most treasured possession and then neglect to give it back. I’ve had friends who’ve kept books of years after borrowing them – some even losing them. What the? Look after my stuff or feel the cool shade of disgruntled bookworm.
3. Talking to us when we’re reading
If I’m reading, I’m reading. I don’t want to talk to you. I’ll catch up with you later when I’ve finished this chapter/book. Not now. Again, I’m reading. Leave me be.
This goes for friends, family and flatmates – and, in particular, strangers on trains/planes who think the random seating plan is an invitation to discuss each other’s lives. It’s not. I’m reading. Shh!
4. Thinking we’re uncool
Reading is cool. Readers are cool. We’re not geeks or swots or socially inept (I’ve been called various other names in my time but these capture the key themes). We just love reading. I also love gigs, drinking, live comedy, travelling, fashion, life so don’t judge me on my love of the written word.
5. Using us as a dictionary
Well-read people are usually good at spelling. It comes with the territory of always being around words and understanding how good writing is constructed. It does not mean we can spell every single word you struggle with. We’re not your go-to spellcheck. Get a dictionary like everyone else.
6. Telling us we spend too much on books
Firstly, there is no such thing. Secondly, it’s my money and I’ll do with it what I please. I don’t tell you to stop buying food, do I? Well, this is the same. Books are my fuel and I need them to survive. As long as the mortgage is paid, my book buying will continue.
7. Assuming we’ve read everything
I’ve read thousands of books and will read thousands more in my lifetime. I’ll never read everything that has ever been written. Just because I love reading doesn’t mean I’ve devoured the complete works of everyone. I’d have to be some kind of immortal speed reader to get that done (oh, there’s an idea for a story…).
8. Telling us to go outside more
I was told this throughout my teenage years. Little did my family realise that the literary worlds available on the bookshelves in my bedroom were much more interesting than the teen angst on the mean streets of Washington, Tyne and Wear.
As as an adult, I’m outside all the time. I read everywhere and anywhere and, if the weather allows, I’ll be camped out with a good book until the sun goes in.
9. Saying the film was better than the book
It wasn’t. No way. I can’t think of one film adaptation that was better than the original book. Some are equally good but never better. You’ll never win this argument with us. Step down now.
11. Asking us why we read so much
Why do you breathe? This question has the same meaning to us. Reading is not a choice; it is an instinct, a calling, a privilege. We love it and it will always be part of our lives. Get over it and let us get on with reading. There are lots of books to get through.
So, you’ve been warned. Next time you approach a bookworm bear these issues in mind and tread carefully.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.